Site Information

Contact Info: General: Here are few graphics you can use to link to our website (if you are so inclined):

Brian's Wish List!

Site Specs:
  • Website: DSL/Cable Webserver + others
  • DNS:
  • Connection type: ADSL - Fujitsu Speedport DSL Modem
  • Speed (down/up): 384/384 Kbps - Verizon
  • Router/Firewall: Linksys Etherfast Cable/DSL Router
  • Mail Server: Cobalt Qube 2
  • Webserver Server: Dell PowerEdge 500SC
  • CPU: Intel Tualatin 1.13 Ghz with 512k cache
  • Motherboard: Dell
  • Memory: 1024 Megs PC133 Registered ECC (1x 512 MB, 1x 256 MB, 2x 128 MB sticks)
  • Hard disk:
    • Boot: 1 x 20 Gig Western Digital 200BB 7200 rpm 2 MB cache
      Data: 2 x 80 Gig Maxtor D740 7200 rpm 2 MB cache in RAID 1 on a Promise Fasttrack TX2000
  • Network adapter: Onboard Intel NIC
  • Server Software: Windows 2000 Advanced Server with Internet Information Server 5.0 (IIS 5.0), PHP, MySQL, PHPBB
  • UPS: 2 x APC 350 ES, 1x Cyberpower 575
Future Upgrades (when I get the cash):
  • Faster DSL line.  Maybe a 768/768, that would be sweet!
  • Larger and faster hard drives.  2 x 200 Giggers with 8 meg cache?
System Tour:

I always thought it was cool to see pictures of the actual servers of the websites I was visiting so I decided to put up some pictures of mine.  I'm just weird like that.  Here is my workstation where I work on my websites and just surf the web.  The computer on the far left is my workstation which is a dual Celeron 550 with 512 Megs of RAM running Windows XP.  Of course, the black computer on the right is the Dell PowerEdge 500sc which serves as the main webserver.

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The cool little blue box is my Cobalt Qube 2.  It functions as the mail server for my setup.  The eerie green light from the front of the Qube makes my room look kinda weird during the night.  But the Qube 2 does a very nice job as a mail server.  It could really do a lot more than act as a mail server, but for now, it's all good.  This isn't really part of my system but next to the Qube 2 is a small 12 in subwoofer I built several years ago.  It sounds pretty good.  Too bad I dropped it a while ago and scuffed up the nice finish.

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Here is my stack of networking equipment.  For some reason, I'm addicted to networking stuff, primarily hardware networking stuff.  Network theory really bores me, but hooking up computer across a network is so fun to me.  Yeah, I know, I'm weird.  We'll start with the lower blue piece.  This is the Linksys 4-port router.  Ah, the piece of machinery that makes webserving so easy, the Linksys router.  I'm using an older firmware although there are newer ones available.  Why?  Because it's stable.  Although it might not have all the features of the newer firmwares, it's more important to have a stable unit.  This is the four port model that came out a long time ago.  The 2nd blue piece of hardware is a Linksys WAP11 access point for 802.11b wireless access for my laptop.  Don't worry, I have everything secured so it'll be really hard for somebody to break in.  The top blue piece is a Linksys 5-port 10/100 switch and the bottom gray piece is a Allied Telesyn 8-port 10/100 switch.  I have these 2 guys because the number of computer in my house has grown tremendously and the 4-ports on the router simply weren't enough.  Of course all the network cables are labeled clearly!

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I don't think a cable organizer will help this mess.  You can see the color coded mouse and keyboard cables that lead to my KVM switch.

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Under my desk you can see the 3 uninteruptable power supplies.  Each UPS powers at most 1 computer and maybe some networking equipment.  I have my workstation, webserver, and mail server each on different UPS units so each one doesn't get overloaded.  Each power cord is labeled with the name of the hardware it is powering.  Right behind the UPS's is a box of computer paper which functions as a stand for the Fujitsu DSL modem.  Fire hazard?  I hope not.  Finally the last thing on the floor is the subwoofer from my Logitech z340.  Hehe, that serves as a rest for my feet while I work hard on this website! 

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Here is where the DSL line comes out of the wall.  My ISP came to my house and installed an outside line filter so I don't need those annoying microfilters on each of my phone jacks.  The outside line filter works MUCH better than the microfilters.  In the process they had to add the extra beige box that has the green and white wire coming out of it.  I'm not sure what it does but that's where the phone line to my DSL modem connects.  It's pretty weird to think that this website is being sent to your computer through those little green and white wires.  Makes you think....  Or not.

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Go Trojans!

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Semi-Live Picture Inside the 'DSL/Cable Webserver' Webserver:

Do you know what you're looking at?  You're looking at a semi-live picture of the heatsink and RAM of the very Dell PowerEdge 500sc webserver that is displaying this website!  I say semi-live because the image is updated every 30 seconds (you have to hit refresh).

The webcam I'm using is the Creative Webcam which is a pretty no-frills webcam that takes fairly good pictures.  How are the heatsink and RAM illuminated?  Hehe, well, I was thinking about a mini neon tube, but finally settled on the Kensington Flylight.  I plugged it into the server's USB port and pointed it inside the case.  The webcam software I am using to update the picture is ConquerCam.  Very nice for this kind of thing.

How come there isn't a fan on that heatsink?  Well, like many Dell computers, the heatsink uses a case fan and shroud mechanism to direct air over the heatsink and out the case.  Yes, that means the picture you're looking at is being taken through the spinning blades of the case exhaust fan.

Since the insides of a server aren't likely to change much, it's kind of a dumb idea to have a webcam looking inside the webserver.  99% of the pictures are going to look the same.  Which makes you (and me) wonder why the heck would I put a webcam on my server's heatsink and RAM.  Well, the reason is because I thought it would be cool to have a fairly recent picture of the insides of the server that is sending you this webpage.  Yes, I know it's geeky, but hey, admit it, you think it's kinda neat too!

The images you'll see won't change much, but there are basically 2 different versions you might encounter.  Here's a quick image guide.

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If you see the picture on the left, which you will 99% of the time, I'm either not in the room or sleeping.
However, if you see the picture on the right, that means I'm actually in the room working on something or futzing with the server.  You can see that the fan grill is illuminated by my desk lamp.  So when you see this rare illuminated fan grill picture, you can be pretty sure that I'm sitting right at the computer that is serving this webpage to you!  Okay, okay, I'll lay off that now.. hehehe

Oh yeah, I'd appreciate it if someone would email me if they start seeing smoke or flames coming off that heatsink! 

My blurb:

Hello, my name is Brian Lee and I run this little site called DSL/Cable Webserver.  I hope you enjoy this site and find the information useful.  I am not an expert in computers, networking, or even web design.  Actually, I'm an MD/Ph.D student at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and Caltech respectively.  Yeah, I know, it's a long name.  I love computers as a hobby.  I don't have much formal training in computers, but learned from various sources and picked up bits and pieces here and there.  In other words, I know just enough to be dangerous. 

Although the Internet is still very new, it seems like I've been online for ages.  I still remember dialing into BBS's which were primitive mini-Internets.  This was before AOL was even around.  Then I started using PPP in Windows 3.1 to surf the NET.  My ISP at the time was a company called Monkey Barrel.  Hehehe, those were the days.  Dropped connections left and right, winsock errors, etc.  I wonder what happened to that company.  I don't think it exists anymore.

Like all good web junkies, I wasn't content to just surf the web, but felt a compulsion to put forth my own garbage on the NET, so I started designing my own webpage.  Boy, that was not much fun using notepad and raw html to code every little table, border, font, color.  Drove me nuts!

I've had websites on free homepage services but hated the banner ads and slow slow servers.  Next I moved to the larger pay-for-hosting services where I hosted about 10 websites with their own domain names.  Each account had 25 megs of disk space and cost $12 bucks a month to run.  Now, mind you, these websites were pretty much special interest websites which were not generating any money at all.  Spending $120 a month for 10 websites became very very expensive.  After a year of that nonsense, I decided that I either had to dump all the websites or find a better solution.

At the time that I had the 10 websites at the pay host, I was still accessing the Internet using a 56k modem.  My 2nd phone line cost about $20 a month and my ISP was also about $20 a month.  I found that I could get DSL for about the same price and could potentially run my own webserver on it saving me $120 a month.  Wow, I was excited.  I started to look for information about running a server from home.

This site is the result of the information I gathered as I researched how to run my own webserver from home.  When I first planned on running my own webserver from home, I figured I'd do a quick search on Yahoo! and find tons of information about the subject, but instead I found none!  So I began to ask people at various websites and forums for help.  I found tons of great information but most of it was very specific to a particular topic (pure networking, pure DNS, pure hardware, pure etc).  Here at this site, I've tried to integrate all the material into a cohesive unit geared towards running your own webserver from home on DSL or Cable modem.

But like I said before, I'm no expert, just a guy fooling around with some computers and network equipment and while things haven't always been smooth or easy, it's been a ton of fun.  There is something really satisfying about seeing the lights on your router flash as somebody visits your site.  Then you hear the hard disk churn as they access some pictures or look in your forums.  It's very very satisfying.  Sure, your website would probably be safer and more reliable at a professional host, but what fun would that be?

Have fun!